Minnesota’s Uniform Municipal Contracting Law uses dollar-amount thresholds to determine whether local government contracts may be entered into on the basis of competitive bids, quotations, or purchase or sale in the open market. Contracts estimated to exceed $175,000 must generally be made using sealed bids, solicited by public notice. In general, contracts with estimated values of $175,000 or less can be made based on quotations. Contracts estimated not to exceed $25,000 may be made on either quotations or in the open market.
A valid quotation must include a price offered by a vendor who can actually sell an item. A vehicle’s “bluebook” price alone is not a quotation for purposes of these provisions. If quotations are used, at least two quotations must be obtained, if possible, and all quotations should be kept on file for at least one year.
For contracts for the purchase of supplies, materials or equipment estimated to exceed $25,000, a municipality must consider the state’s Cooperative Purchasing Venture (CPV) before purchasing through another source. More information on the CPV can be found here.
Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 3/13/2020